Dutch Art and Architecture in the Golden Age of the 17th Century

Ref: C3742730

The course will begin by explaining the unique social, religious and political context in which art was produced in the 17th century Netherlands with a discussion of the Dutch Revolt and war against Spain. The new religious and economic conditions that resulted led to the production of new types of art. Notable was an explosion in the desire for portraits, seascapes, landscapes and pictures of everyday life, at the expense of grand religious painting. Major artists who will be explored include Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, de Hooch and Steen. The important contribution of print making and the work of less well known artists, including women painters, will also be studied.

Course aim

This course aims to introduce students to the wide variety of exciting art made in the seventeenth century, with a view to better understanding the political, economic and social context in which it was created, and thus enjoying the work even more.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify and describe one portrait by Rembrandt.
  • Identify and describe one picture by Vermeer.
  • Discuss the context in which these works were produced.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • Students are encouraged to visit galleries and exhibitions to enhance their learning.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Dutch Art and Architecture in the Golden Age of the 17th Century


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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